As a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and cofounder of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, I’m fighting for smart solutions to address climate change and position Rhode Island as a leader in the clean energy economy.  I also helped form the bipartisan Senate Oceans Caucus to protect our ocean and coasts for generations to come.

Addressing the Consequences of Climate Change:

Rhode Islanders see the effects of climate change all around us, from rising sea levels to stronger storms.  Climate change poses one of the greatest threats to our economy and national security, which is why I have been steadfast in fighting for legislation to cut carbon pollution and prepare our communities for the effects we know will come.

  • Since 2012, I have gone to the Senate floor every week the Senate is in session to speak out on climate change.  You can watch my “Time To Wake Up” speeches here.
  • My American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act would cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2029.  It would also generate considerable revenue to boost the economy and aid American workers and consumers.  American families stands to benefit: from the direct revenue generated by the fee; from a healthier environment; and from a stronger, more sustainable economy.
  • I created the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund to prepare our coastline for rising seas, storm surge, and other climate change risks.  Since 2016, Congress has provided $113 million in funding.

Promoting Sustainable Energy:

Smart energy policy can help combat climate change and boost our local economy.  Wind power, for example, produces no carbon pollution and supports jobs that can’t be sent overseas.  I am working to promote clean energy solutions for our country, and to support this growing industry in Rhode Island.

  • A national green infrastructure bank would provide states like Rhode Island with capital to make strategic long-term investments in clean energy and sustainable infrastructure.  I cosponsored the Green Bank Act to support job creation in Rhode Island’s clean energy sector and fight climate change by incentivizing large-scale investment in green projects. 
  • I cosponsored the Clean Energy for America Act, to consolidate dozens of energy incentives into three technology-neutral provisions that encourage clean electricity, clean transportation, and energy efficiency.
  • As a coauthor of the Energy Infrastructure Demand Response Act, I’m working to encourage natural gas utilities companies to launch demand response programs, a well-established model that rewards consumers for reducing energy use.

Keep Our Oceans Healthy:

Our oceans and coasts define our economy and way of life in Rhode Island.  The docks of Galilee are home to fishermen whose families have made their living from the sea for generations, and our beloved Narragansett Bay is Rhode Island’s most important natural resource.  Tourists travel to the Ocean State every summer to enjoy our beautiful beaches.  We have a responsibility to maintain our ocean and Bay today and for generations to come.

  • I coauthored the bipartisan Save Our Seas Act, signed into law in October 2018.  This law supports NOAA’s marine debris program, promotes increases in international cooperation on cleaning up marine pollution, and invests in combatting marine plastic pollution. The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act would builds off this success and bring us closer to our goal of eliminating marine debris.  
  • We can’t allow our oceans to be opened to oil and gas exploration.  My bipartisan New England Coastal Protection Act would prohibit oil and gas leasing off Rhode Island’s coast.
  • I cofounded the Senate Oceans Caucus, a bipartisan group focused on protecting our oceans and coasts.  I’ve worked closely with co-chair Senator Murkowski (R-AK) on the BLUE GLOBE Act to invest in research, technology, and a workforce that will shape a better understanding of our seas and coasts.